SEC fines ICO rating website for taking money for favorable reviews

    03 Aug 2021

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claimed settled charges against UK-based Coinschedule.

    The Coinschedule platform that reviewed upcoming initial coin offerings (ICOs) from 2016 to August 2019 was providing overviews of which ones were more or less fraud.

    According to the SEC’s July 14 order: “The platform claimed to ‘list’ or profile the ‘best’ token offerings, such as so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs), and stated that its ‘mission is to make it easy and safe for people around the world to join ICOs.’”

    However, it turned out that Coinschedule was taking payment from issuers for more well-disposed reviews. Denial to disclose such payments violates the anti-touting provisions of the Securities Act’s Section 17(b).

    Although, the terms of the settlement are quite soft. Coinschedule’s operator goes unnamed in the SEC’s charges and will have to pay disgorgement and fines of about $200,000 in total. In addition, Coinschedule was able to without admitting or denying the SEC’s charges.

    For years the SEC was cleaning up after securities issues following the ICO boom. Over the same anti-touting provision, famous persons like DJ Khaled, Floyd Mayweather, and Steven Seagal found themselves in a legal tricky position.

    As reported before, the SEC has brought charges against three additional defendants in its ongoing case against ex-con Boaz Manor and his business associate Edith Pardo for raising $30 million in an allegedly fraudulent ICO.

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